WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on Texas’s voter suppression legislation on Thursday in an effort to shine a spotlight on the state that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) called “Ground Zero” for voting rights. The hearing lasted over three hours, with testimony from state lawmakers, voters and voting rights advocates.
Three Democratic Texas state representatives testified during Thursday’s hearing, highlighting the lengths some voters had to go to cast their ballots last election and how determined Republicans have been to ram through their suppression agenda. In order to deny Republicans of the quorum they need to pass a new voter suppression bill, Texas Democrats have been in D.C. since mid-July, meeting with Congress and Vice President Kamala Harris and urging federal lawmakers to take action to protect voters across the country. “These bills are being written in Texas, but these bills are being written across the country—this is a national issue,” said U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-T.X.). “And what’s happening in Texas is really a cautionary tale.”
“There was not even an attempt to work and compromise with our colleagues on [the legislation],” testified Texas State Rep. Nicole Collier (D). “Too often we look for overt and obvious signs of suppression. But suppression can be emulated in long lines, it could be creating harsher penalties for making simple mistakes…Unless we have federal intervention, we will continue to see the chipping away of our rights.”